Lyde films break into LDS market

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    By Brittany Wiscombe

    John Lyde is one of several independent filmmakers who is trying to make a difference in the world with inspiring short films.

    His latest, “The Field Is White,” describes a returned missionary who struggles with his testimony.

    Lyde, 25, a part-time student from Orem, has produced short films since he was 12.

    But now, his film “The Field Is White” will be distributed by Thomson Productions and sold in local bookstores.

    Lyde said he ultimately wants to have his own company where people come to him with scripts.

    “With each project, I want to use the money earned from previous films to put towards the next one, and get bigger and bigger,” he said.

    Lyde”s next project will be a feature-length action film, he said.

    Lyde said his favorite roles in film are director and editor. He was both on his film “The Field Is White,” as well as almost every other role behind the camera.

    “I did almost everything myself,” Lyde said. “This film was definitely low budget, but the finished product turned out very professional.”

    Lyde traded services and winnings from the Minute Maid contest to have “The Field Is White” completed.

    He said he painted one person”s house for help with the sound, and traded Olympic tickets he won for post-production work.

    However, Lyde said he filmed in a park by the LDS Motion Picture Studio when several BYU police officers showed up. A father in the park had called the police about a black box, and thought it contained drugs. The black box ended up being the camera.

    Despite such speed bumps, Lyde managed to finish the film and create others.

    The idea for “The Field Is White” came from reading Doctrine and Covenants 4:4, a standard and well-known scripture for every LDS missionary, Lyde said.

    “I started reading my missionary journals to get ideas for scenes. That”s when I came up with the plot of a guy whose life is in the gutter,” he said. “He starts reading about his experiences, and the feelings he had then start to come back.”

    Lyde didn”t want to make preachy, Hollywood-style or realistic films like “God”s Army,” but rather wished to capture something in between.

    “I wanted something that”s entertaining, but you can still feel the Spirit,” he said. “I mostly wanted to help returned missionaries think back about their missionary experience.”

    Maryanne Packer, the office manager at Thomson Productions, said the company anticipates the film to do fairly well.

    Linda Thomson, president of Thomson Productions, said she hopes the film will be a classic for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by next year.

    Thompson said the film addresses a sensitive topic which needs to be addressed.

    “Nobody has ever dealt with the fact that kids lose their way after missions,” she said.

    This was Lyde”s second spiritual film.

    The first was based on an article from the Ensign, and was shown at the Young International LDS Film Festival.

    “The Field Is White” is over 50 minutes long, and will be released by the end of January.

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